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Japan pushes for content control software on iPhone

updated 12:20 pm EST, Tue January 4, 2011

Device lacks filtering software, says gov't.

The Japanese government is criticizing Apple Japan and cellular carrier Softbank for a lack of content filtering on the iPhone, reports say. Specifically, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is expected to ask for region-tailored filtering software to be installed as soon as possible. Local stores are obligated to install censorship tools on phones sold to minors.

A Softbank representative claims that installing filtering would be unworkable, as stores would be forced to ask for private data such as credit card numbers before software could be downloaded. Apple Japan's response is so far unknown. The international company has been willing to bend to regional concerns in the past however, for instance by manufacturing Chinese iPhones without Wi-Fi receivers; a change in local regulations ultimately allowed standard hardware.

Apple Japan has experienced a series of public embarrassments in recent times. It has for instance been accused of dragging its heels on overheating first-generation iPod nanos, to the point of only initiating a replacement program in August 2010 as a result of government pressure. A consortium of local book publishers has taken the company to task for failing to crack down on pirated books and comics on the App Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969



    That Apple, vilified for it's heavily controlled walled garden AppStore would now be under fire for NOT controlling content well enough is absolutely delicious.

  1. Parky

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yet another excuse for parents to shirk their responsibility!

  1. RobOnTheCape

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Content filtering?

    I wonder if the bureaucrats in Japan have bothered to look over at what the businessmen next to them on the trains are reading for all to gaze at. I can't imagine anything on the app store approaching what you can see everyday on the streets and on tv in that country.

    Filter Manga, then get back to me.

  1. sammaffei

    Joined: Dec 1969



    ...the continued drop in the Japanese birthrate. I would think they would would want to promote anything that might tangentially encourage teen pregnancy.

  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Content Filtering

    RE: Filter Manga, then get back to me.

    As I understand the current government is interested in that as well.

  1. Ratdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's in there now

    The parental rating is in there now.
    The app store account can be limited for account access granted to minors.
    Get the parents educated.

    Well and harder the governments.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    All you people are missing the biggest question they are answering!

    "Won't somebody please think of the children?"

  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011


    I guess the Japanese Government don't own iPhones

    rat dude nailed it! Apple has all the content restrictions already added and has been there for a long time. just visit the General Settings and then Restrictions. you can restrict safari, youtube, the camera, itunes, installing apps, deleting apps, location info, adding or changing email info, in-app purchases, and ratings for music, podcasts, movies, tv shows, and apps. also you can restrict game center.

    what else is needed???

    if they want to restrict anymore then a smartphone is not for their kids period!

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